Required Reading

Life is complicated enough without getting into hotwater with federal agencies so: TAKE NOTE Many things I review I got at no charge in exchange for an honest review. Consider this as informing you that ALL things I review may have been gotten at no charge. Realistically about 60% but in order to keep things above board just assume that I got the stuff free. I do not collect information on my readers. If cookies or other tracking stuff is used on my blogs it is due to BLOGGER not ME. Apparently the European Union's new rules state I need to inform you if cookies are being use. If they are it isn't byu me, consider yourself INFORMED.
Words like, “sponsored,” “promotion,” “paid ad” or even just “ad” are clear ways to disclose that you’re being paid to share information and links so BE AWARE that some of what I write can be described as an AD by the government. BTW I will NEVER say a product is great, super or even acceptable if it isn't, whether I got it free or NOT!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Interview with Stephen Zimmer, Author of The Spirit of Fire

This is really, really cool.  Instead of a simple, short response to interview questions, Stephen Zimmer has taken the time to do a long and very informative video interview.   I am delighted to present the Stephen Zimmer Interview.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Video Interview with Stephen Zimmer Author of the Fires of Eden Series


Video Interview with Stephen Zimmer Author of the Fires of Eden Series

Coming up on June 27th Here on Azure Dwarf

See Stephen Zimmer answer my interview questions in


Almost Live


Tune in in 2 Days!

This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Huge GiveAway Spirt of Fire (and MORE) by Stephen Zimmer GiveAway

This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Spirt of Fire Tour

48 Date Blog Tour Announced and Cover Art Unveiled for Stephen Zimmer's Spirit of Fire

Seventh Star Press is proud to unveil the cover art and illustrations created by award-winning artist Matthew Perry for Spirit of Fire, Book Three of the epic fantasy Fires in Eden Series by award-winning author Stephen Zimmer, as well as announce the dates and sites for the 48 day Spirit of Fire Blog Tour.  A pre-order window for a limited edition hardcover is also open in advance of the book's official release.
(Illustrations by Matthew Perry from the first edition of Spirit of Fire)

The Spirit of Fire Blog Tour is being hosted by Babs Book Bistro, and will feature 50 events over 48 days, beginning May 29th  and running through July 14th. The tour will feature a number of activities, including reviews, video, interviews, podcasts, guest blog posts, and contests/giveaways.

Spirit of Fire is the third title in the Fires in Eden Series, following Crown of Vengeance and Dream of Legends.  Also associated with the epic fantasy series is a growing collection of short stories, the Chronicles of Ave, that have been released on eBook and are part of the Seventh Star Singles catalog. 

In Spirit of Fire, a maelstrom of war engulfs lands resisting the designs of the Unifier to bring about a new order, of a kind that has never existed within Ave.  Battered by a massive invasion force from Gallea, the tribal people of the Five Realms and their Midragardan allies are being driven eastward, towards the sea, while the Saxan lines are wearing down ever thinner on the Plains of Athelney.
Time is running out quickly, as an ancient creature of legend soars through the skies with a brave young Saxan.   They carry the desperate hopes of two realms sorely beset by a voracious enemy.

Diabolic entities conduct a great hunt, as a malignant darkness deepens across all of Ave.  Exiles from another world must gain refuge, or find themselves ensnared by the long reach of the Unifier.  The very nature of creation itself stands in the balance.

It is a time when the honor and fortitude of many are put to the test, and terrible prices are paid for resisting great evils.  It is also a time of awakening for many, old and young alike, some of whom may yet discover the spirit of fire that lies within.

The third installment in the Fires in Eden series, Spirit of Fire is richly imagined epic fantasy with a diverse ensemble of characters that offers a new world to explore for readers who enjoy large-scale tales along the likes of George R.R. Martin, Brandon Sanderson, Steven Erikson, and J.R.R. Tolkien.

Spirit of Fire will be released in softcover and eBook versions during the first week of June.  The novel is now available for pre-order in a beautiful hardcover edition that is strictly limited to 75 copies. 

The limited hardcover edition will be signed and numbered by Stephen Zimmer and includes a bonus illustration from Matthew Perry not included in other editions.  It will be accompanied by an assortment of collectibles, including a set of glossy art cards, bookmarks, and magnets.  The limited edition hardcovers will also be bundled with the eBook version (provided as a direct ePub file for users with Nooks, iPads, or Sony eReaders, and gifted as a Kindle file for Kindle users).  Those interested in securing one of the 75 limited hardcovers can place a pre-order at:

The Spirit of Fire Blog Tour Dates and Participants Are As Follows:

May 29  Fantasy Book Review
May 30  Ginger Nuts of Horror
May 31  Mom Cat's Gateway Book Blog
June 1   Splash of Our Worlds
June 2   Soliloquy
June 3   Ritesh Kala's Book Review
June 4   Jess Resides Here
June 5   Reading Away the Days
June 6   Vilutheril Reviews
June 7   A Daydreamer's Thoughts
June 8  Red Headed Bookworm
June 9   Lisa's World of Books
June 10  Kentucky Geek Girl
June 11  Goatfairy Review Blog
June 12  Book and Movie Dimension Blog
June 13  Full Moon Bites
June 14  Stuck in Books
June 15  The Independent Review
June 15  Alchemy of Scrawl
June 16  Watch Play Read
June 17  A Book Vacation
June 18  Eva's Sanctuary
June 19  That Book Place Blog
June 20  Edi's Book Lighthouse
June 21  SpecMusicMuse
June 22  Once Upon a Time
June 23  Azure Dwarf Horde of Sci-Fi & Fantasy 
June 24  Bad Girls, Good Guys, and Two-Fisted Action
June 25  Eden Road Blog
June 25  Ali's Bookshelf (live podcast)
June 26  Workaday Reads
June 27  Bookishly Me
June 28  Earth's Book Nook
June 29  Darlene's Book Nook
June 30  The Haunting of Orchid Forsythia
July 1     Evie Bookish
July 2     Urban Fantasy Reviews
July 3     The Cabin Goddess
July 4     TheSci-Fi Guys Book Review
July 5     The Speculative Salon
July 6     Ali's Bookshelf
July 7     Bunnys Review
July 8     Bee's Knees Reviews
July 9     In the Dark of Night with James Tuck
July 10   Edin Road Radio (live podcast)
July 11   A Few Words
July 12    Bab's Book Bistro
July 13   Alchemy of Scrawl  (live podcast)
July 14    Babs Book Bistro (live podcast)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

My Familiar Stranger - A Paranormal Romance (The Order of the Black Swan) by Victoria Danann

Arrgghh!  I have frequently stated I will never read or review anything in the Romance genre.  Once again NEVER isn’t really never.  Hopefully it is the scent of scifi or the paranormal part that attracted me as opposed to getting in touch with my feminine side.  The main protagonist is Elora a young woman from an alternate dimension thrust into a different world.   Her coping with “hunky” men and all the differences provide the plot motivation. 

Not having read much romance, I have to assume that it is SOP to paint detailed characters.   After all if you are going to have people loving and lusting it is nice to know their motivation.  Ms. Danann does a nice job on her characterizations.   Being a sap for long lustrous hair (most likely due to my own lack there of) I could almost see Elora’s hair.  

Ms. Danann apparently has a more forgiving editor than I have as she does move around from first person to third person a bit.  However since I frequently do that in the same paragraph, I did not find it disturbing.

The environment was nicely done, with good details to provide a suitable setting for the main show of human interaction.   Setting the stage for interpersonal relations is often dismissed as an aside.   In a story with so many complex feelings it is nice to see some time was spent setting the stage.

As annoying as I find it, I like the book.  It was a good mix of scifi, urbanish fantasy and sigh, romance.   As an added bonus it was only $.99 at Amazon.

Body of work of <a type="amzn"> Victoria Danann </a>

Web site:

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Mystery of the On-Screen Release of the Dark Tower Series--A Guest Post

Oh, Stephen King, you are such a mysterious man. 

Or perhaps, just behind on your PR. 

On Mr. King’s Website, his response to the FAQ, “Are you going to do a Dark Tower movie?” is as follows:
“A deal has been negotiated with Ron Howard, Akiva Goldsman, Brian Grazer, and Universal/NBC to do a Dark Tower adaptation set for release on May 17th 2013…”

I have to admit that I’m pouting as I write this because this information is seriously outdated, and it seriously got my hopes up. 

Last year, Universal eased away from the Dark Tower project after drumming up excitement about a trilogy and a television series. Citing budget constraints, they scaled the original plan down to one movie before dropping the project completely. 

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, King made a humorous jab at the production company, saying “As a rule, they’ve been about smaller and less risky pix; maybe they feel it would be better to stick with those fast and furious racing boys.”

Well played, Mr. King. 

However cheesy the F&F movies may be, they have made money – $1.5 billion to be exact – and a large-scale projects (such as covering a saga of 8 books) costs a lot of money. There’s also no doubting that The Dark Tower books are a bit kooky, which is a selling point for Mr. King’s fans, but not so much for a commercial audience. The last major cultural stir Mr. King caused on the screen was when 1408 was released in 2007, which was well-received, but not as impactful as Shawshank Redemption or The Shining.

Stephen King is one of the great storytellers of our time, and though he’s found an audience for his dramas and horror stories, is there an audience for his magnum opus? My fingers are crossed, but I’m not holding my breath. The titanic scale of the project would be a risky undertaking for any studio.
After Universal walked away, Howard and producer Brian Grazer admitted defeat, but in March, Warner Bros. showed some interest, and the series and movies are back up for discussion. 

And last month, Ron Howard sent out a tweet that got my hopes up, yet again.
“Spent day today in a story session on ...Dark Tower :-) Terrific meeting w/ Akiva Goldsman & Erica Huggins No timetables but very positive” -- @RealRonHoward

Javier Bardem has been listed as a candidate for the lead role of Roland, and after his gunslinging performance in No Country for Old Men, there’s no doubt he would be a fantastic fit for the role.  Since HBO is owned by Time Warner, the expectation is that this is where the series would air.
HBO seems like the perfect fit for a series, offering plenty of creative licensure for the gritty language, violence and sexuality that are staples of King’s work.  

One problem I foresee in the casting of Javier Bardem is the amount of commitment, and risk, involved in absorbing a character with such enormity. If the show fails, he could lose credibility. If the show succeeds, he could lose himself in an archetype, much like Sarah Jessica Parker after Sex and the City.
Damian Lewis, who is currently the star of Showtime’s, Homeland would be my casting for Roland. With one Stephen King movie (Dreamcatcher) under his belt and his familiarity with the gun-toting archetype role (Homeland and Band of Brothers), a dye job is the only thing he needs. 

Regardless of the challenges, I hope to see the project unfold onscreen in some way. If not in the next few years – at least before I die. 

-          The Dark Tower series includes graphic content, and is only suitable for mature audiences, such as college-aged adults and up.

Aniya Wells is a freelance blogger whose primary focus is writing.  He also enjoys investigating trends in other niches, notably technology, traditional higher education, health, and small business. Aniya welcomes reader questions and comments at

Thanks Aniya for your guest post.  I am not endorsing or recommending online degree programs but I do agree to let guest posters do a link for their guest post.

This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

eBook Freebies June 19 & June 20 At Amazon

 eBook giveaway on Amazon of two titles,

Cinema of Shadows by Michael West 


The Exodus Gate by Stephen Zimmer.

eBook Freebies June 19 & June 20 At Amazon

This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Attention Writers!

Attention Writers!  Seventh Star Press Proudly Announces Its Next Anthology Project, Perfect Flaw: Dystopian Stories, with Editor Robin Blankenship

Seventh Star Press is proud to announce its second anthology project, Perfect Flaw: Dystopian Stories, with editor Robin Blankenship

As with the first SSP anthology project, The End Was Not the End: Post-Apocalyptic Fantasy Tales (editor Joshua Leet) this anthology project will allow for short stories of up to 10,000 words.

The stories must be set within a society in a repressive and controlled state, which can be under the guise of a utopian society.  The genre of the stories can be anything from Horror to Science Fiction, Fantasy, Steampunk and other forms of speculative ficiton

This anthology is intended to be a book that is a exploration of society gone wrong. "Utopian" societies that mask the true, underlying controlled state. Stories of people fighting back against the repression in hopes of a better place for the average person. Groups forming to fight the fatal flaw that the people in charge strive to cover up to keep the masses in line.

Submissions must be in by Midnight of January 8, 2013. Please provide a cover letter and use standard manuscript format.  They can be emailed to: Robin at

The anthology is being targeted for release in the late spring of 2013, in both print and eBook formats.

A freelance editor and book reviewer, Robin Blankenship has a background in teaching and is currently embarking on her Masters in Folk Studies.

For further information on Seventh Star Press and its titles and authors, please visit 

This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

5 (Slightly) Underrated Sci-Fi Classics

A Guest Post.

With the recent passing of Ray Bradbury, safely canonized among America's literary legends regardless of his genre background, I've been doing a lot of thinking about the science fiction canon. How we determine which books are "great" is a central problem in all of literature, but in science fiction, marginalized by critics for so long but also the object of the most intense and jealous devotion among fans, it takes on a special difficulty. 

For years a fellow named James Wallace Harris has maintained a list online entitled "The Classics of Science Fiction" (, which is not a subjective selection but, rather, aggregates the major attempts of others to come up with a comprehensive list. This method has its virtues and its drawbacks. If the list has a bias, I'd say it's towards the old and hoary, which is typical for this kind of endeavor (critical opinion takes a while to sort out and is always a lagging indicator of success), but is especially problematic with a genre largely concerned with the future! But it's an excellent way to study the great tradition of science fiction. I've used it for years to help decide what book is worth reaching for next.
Here are five books I read from that list that blew me away. They are by no means "neglected," or they would never have made Harris's list, but they're not household names like the dearly departed Mr. Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451, and they ought to be, so I'm evangelizing for them here:
1.      Stand on Zanzibar (John Brunner, 1968, #6 on Harris list)

This book is absolutely brilliant, but it's also a giant doorstop, so I bet it's the least-read among Harris's top ten, but it's totally worth it. The structure is brilliantly effective (I was going to say "innovative," but it's largely stolen from John dos Passos's U.S.A. trilogy) with interlacing chapters that tell the story of this overpopulated future from different angles, almost as though you were channel-surfing.

2.      The Space Merchants (Frederick Pohl and Cyril Kornbluth, 1953, #12)

Speaking of TV, this could now be pitched as Mad Men in space. This amazingly un-dated satire depicts a future where businesses have assumed nearly all political power and people have become consumers rather than citizens. This future is also known as "the present." I think of the Chicken Little chapter every time I read an article about "pink slime."

3.      Lord of Light (Roger Zelazny, 1967, #44)

Zelazny is probably best known for the Amber fantasy series, but this might be his best book, in which Earthlings use advanced technology to imitate the Hindu gods (until a reformer patterned after the Buddha comes along). Gripping stuff that lives up to the raw mythic power of its inspiration.

4.      The Sirens of Titan (Kurt Vonnegut, 1959, #59)
The most unclassifiable and indispensable voice to cross over into "serious" literature from sci-fi, Vonnegut is most often acclaimed for his more genre-bending works like Cat's Cradle and Slaughterhouse-Five, but this early novel is my favorite, and it has all his weirdness and emotional power while remaining proudly
5.      Double Star (Robert Heinlein, 1956, #87)

Admittedly minor Heinlein -- his Stranger in a Strange Land (#22), Starship Troopers (#58), and my personal favorite The Moon is a Harsh Mistress (#32) all rank higher on this list, and he probably wrote a dozen other more substantive books – I nevertheless have a soft spot for Double Star. Its title is, ahem, a double entendre, as the protagonist is an actor hired to "double" a kidnapped politician. This book won the first Hugo Award for Best Novel, so like I said, "underrated" is relative here, but don't quibble with it: just make sure you read these if you haven't (and reread them if you have)!
An experienced writer on all things related to higher education and business, Amanda Watson spends her days covering the latest stories on various topics such as web entrepreneurship, and social media marketing. You can contact Amanda at

Thank you Amanda for your guest post.  I have read three out of your 5.    I do like Brunner and will have to track that one down.  For some reason I have never enjoyed Vonnegut.   There is a wealth of great reading out there and most of it is not on any NY Times best selling list.  Obscurity is not indicative of quality.  Each of us defines our own list of tops by our personal taste.   Thanks again for the thought provoking guest post.

This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Shadow March by Tad Williams

 Once again Tad Williams has crafted a new world.   The book chronicles the clash between Fae and Mortal as well as the machinations of a China like empire.   This book has a bit of the flavor of the last Williams book I read, The War of the Flowers.

The complexity of Williams world crafting is just amazing.   He provides detail and then he provides details on the detail.   Sometimes I bog down but mostly I revel in his carefully crafted characters and environment.

Williams writes with a gourmand attitude on his characters.   There is a wealth of personalities and foibles.   His characters are alive and become more real page by page.   They have flaws and faults and demonstrate both laudable and despicable behavior.

The sibling relationship between Barrick and Briony is a good example of how Williams brings his characters alive.  Their relationship has depth and flavor and mirrors reality in so many ways.    The tensions and frustrations with someone you love are clear and compelling.

There are almost too many wonderful characterizations,  the book is definitely a banquet not a lunch.   The settings are painted with a clarity that makes you shiver in the unnatural Fae fog.   

This is the first book in a new series and I will look forward to reading the final three.

I recommend the book.

Body of work of <a type="amzn"> Tad Williams </a>

Another Intricate, Compelling World

This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Storm by Flavia Conley

Flavia Conley's The Storm (Flavia illustrates some of my books.)
This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

J.L. Mulvihill Comes to Seventh Star Press

For Immediate Release
June 8, 2012

Seventh Star Press Announces New Young Adult Steampunk Series with the Addition of J.L. Mulvihill to its Author Family

Seventh Star Press proudly announces the addition of J.L. Mulvihill to its author family with Steel Roots, an exciting new young adult steampunk series set in an alternate history with a dash of folklore.  The first title, The Box Car Baby, is slated for release in the 2nd quarter of 2013, with new titles following at the beginning of 2014 and 2015. Readers can look forward to meeting a host of enthralling, distinctive characters within a richly-developed landscape woven by the imagination of J.L. Mulvihill.

(Steel Roots illustration by Rachael Ward)

The Box Car Baby introduces the character of AB'Gale Steel who was born in a boxcar on a train bound for Georgia, according to what her papa told her.  Bishop Steel, a mechanical engineer for the Southern Railroad, found his adopted daughter snuggled in a basket of cotton on an otherwise empty boxcar in the train yard.  When no one came around to claim the baby, Bishop Steel, rather than relinquish the child to the State only to end up at the Workhouse someday, smuggled her home to raise as his own. The name on the boxcar he found her in read, A B Gale Logs, and so he named the baby AB'Gale.

But if the mystery of who her real parents are isn’t enough for fifteen-year -old AB'Gale, Papa Bishop goes missing. Worried for her family and afraid of having to spend her life at the Workhouse, AB'Gale goes into town to see if anyone’s seen her papa, only to find a deeper mystery.  At the train station no one seems to know who her papa is even though he’s worked for the Southern Railroad for thirty years.

An encounter with a strange Hobo-man, who claims to know her father, results in the acquisition of a leather eye-glass tube that he says belongs to her papa. Before AB'Gale can question him further the man runs away.  When she gets home, she finds the Crushers taking her grandma off to the Oldies-home, so she hides until they are gone.

AB'Gale finds that the leather tube contains a map of the United States, with markers made by various towns across the country.  By each marker is a word or a name written in her papa’s handwriting.

Alone, and with only the clues of the map to go by, AB'Gale has no choice but to set out on her own to find her papa.

"Seventh Star Press has a very vivacious group of people with an incredible amount of awesome novels and stories pouring out," J.L. commented on her addition to Seventh Star Press.  "I just thought that SSP might need a little more Teen-Steam, so I am very pleased they have asked me to come on board with my young adult steampunk series, Steel Roots."

Born in Hollywood and raised in San Diego, CA, J.L. Mulvihill has made Mississippi her home for the past fifteen years.  Her debut novel was the young adult title The Lost Daughter of Easaan engaing fantasy novel bordering on science-fiction with a dash of steampunk (Kerlak Publishing).  J.L. also has several short fiction pieces in publication, among them "Chilled Meat", a steampunk thriller found in the Dreams of Steam II-Of Bolts and Brass, anthology (Kerlak Publishing) and "The Leprechaun’s Story", a steampunk urban Fantasy found in the anthology, Clockwork, Spells, & Magical Bells  (Kerlak Publishing)

J.L. is very active with the writing community, and is the events coordinator for the Mississippi Chapter of Imagicopter known as the Magnolia-Tower.  She is also a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), Gulf Coast Writers Association (GCWA), The Mississippi Writers Guild (MWG), as well as the Arts Council of Clinton, and the Clinton Ink-Slingers Writing Group. 

"J.L. Mulvihill is a perfect fit for our family of authors, editors, and artists," fellow Seventh Star Press author Stephen Zimmer commented. "She is already well-loved on the convention circuit, and in addition to her great talent as a writer, she has a fantastic work ethic and approach to the realities of the publishing world today.  We are all so excited to have her with us."

The Steel Roots novels will be released in limited hardcover, softcover (trade paperback), and several eBook editions, including versions for Kindle, Nook, the iBookstore, and Sony-compatible devices.  The books will also include interior illustrations, in addition to cover art from Seventh Star Press' award-winning artists.

For further information on J.L Mulvihill and the upcoming releases, please visit or the author's site at

Seventh Star Press is a small press publisher of speculative fiction located in Lexington Kentucky that I like to publicize due to their support of new authors and bloggers. 

This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Blue Magic by A. M. Dellamonica

This is a tale of a small town, Indigo Springs, and the residents who discover magic, deal with demented social guardians, a frightened government and displaced native Americans.

This is the sequel to Indigo Springs.  I was not overly thrilled with Indigo Springs.   I didn’t find the characters likeable, not even those who might conceivably be called the “good guys”.   Astrid, the main protagonist, and Will, who occupies a some what distant co-star role, become more likeable in this book. 

In my mind, the premise of status quo strongly resisting change is the bedrock of the novel.  Analytically both sides of the equation are bat dung nuts!  Overreaction seems to be a knee jerk response throughout the book.   There was a lot more action and interesting developments in this sequel.   

I enjoyed the book.

Body of work of <a type="amzn"> A. M. Dellamonica </a>

Web site:

This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Monday, June 4, 2012

The Game of Thrones Was a Book First?! A Guest Post

George R. R. Martin
For you hard core scifi/fantasy fans this guest post may seem surprising but I know that some may not be familiar with George R. R. Martin.  I know this is the 2nd guest post in a row but sometimes things just happen that way.  Not to worry, my own deft touch will continue to annoy those of you who regularly visit here.  

A good friend of mine recently made the decision to go back to school. Currently, she is enrolled in a modern literature class, which is strictly online, and as part of their curriculum, the students have to discuss books they've recently read, genres in general and much more.

She told me about a classmate of hers who mentioned the recent "Game of Thrones" HBO series craze and how it all started with a simple series of books with the umbrella title—A Song of Ice and Fire. My interest piqued, I quickly found and finished a copy of the first book—A Game of Thrones, which was originally released over a decade ago.

For anyone who is a fan of the show or even those that have yet to discover it but "have heard things" this is a must-read, as long as you like long stories. The first in a series of what is rumored to eventually be seven novels by George R. R. Martin, it takes place in a fictional world that doesn't seem too different from medieval Europe—aside from the extremely harsh seasons that occur throughout the book(their winter make Canada in January look like a spring day).

Being between 700-800 pages long depending on your version and told from varying points of view, it is hard to accurately capture everything the book has to offer in such a brief synopsis. Possessing a lot of the elements of the classic fantasy story, it is also a very real tale that mirrors our own history quite well. At its core, it is about feuding families who are all vying to be the next in control of the mythical land of Westeros, which has seven separate kingdoms.

No stranger to the fantasy, horror and drama genres, George R.R. Martin has an impressive resume that includes time as a writer for The Twilight Zone.  Being such a detailed story, it is probably best suited for diehard fans of the show who crave more layers and backstory. It's easy to get lost in its many pages of betrayal, incest and lies.

So, if you find yourself feeling that the HBO series just isn’t enough, or if you just like reading well-written fiction that's hard to remember isn't actually real then pick up The Game of Thrones and dive in!

Lauren Bailey is an education writer and freelance blogger. She frequently writes about courses and welcomes comments and questions via email at blauren 99

This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.